Here, you are fluent in the language of business.
The MSA program will prepare individuals with (or without) a
background in accounting the ability to
their career into decision-making roles with greater responsibility within
professional licensure in public accounting by meeting the 150-credit hour
requirement to sit for the CPA exam. Students completing the MSA program
meet the educational requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam in Illinois.
For individuals that may already maintain a CPA license, the
MS in Accounting may allow you to gain a credential and enough graduate
coursework required for teaching accounting in an institution of higher
What do Accountants and Auditors Do?
(from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational
Accountants and auditors typically do the following:
financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws
taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly
and on time
account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted
and maintain financial records
financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management
ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits
(from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational
Individuals with an accounting degree have number of career
accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax,
and consulting tasks. Their clients include corporations, governments, and
individuals. Public accountants work with financial documents that clients
are required by law to disclose. These include tax forms and balance sheet
statements that corporations must provide potential investors. For
example, some public accountants concentrate on tax matters, advising
corporations about the tax advantages of certain business decisions or
preparing individual income tax returns. Public accountants, many of whom
are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), generally have their own
businesses or work for public accounting firms. Publicly traded companies
are required to have CPAs sign documents they submit to the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC), including annual and quarterly reports.
Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting, investigating
financial crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies
and contract disputes, and other complex and possibly criminal financial
transactions. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting
and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine if an
activity is illegal. Many forensic accountants work closely with law
enforcement personnel and lawyers during investigations and often appear
as expert witnesses during trials.
called cost, managerial, industrial, corporate,
or private accountants, record and analyze the financial information
of the organizations for which they work. The information that management
accountants prepare is intended for internal use by business managers, not
by the general public.
Management accountants often work on budgeting and performance evaluation.
They also may help organizations plan the cost of doing business. Some may
work with financial managers on asset management, which involves planning
and selecting financial investments such as stocks, bonds, and real
and examine the records of government agencies and audit private
businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government
regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by federal, state, and local
governments ensure that revenues are received and spent in accordance with
laws and regulations.
auditors check for mismanagement
of an organization’s funds. They identify ways to improve the processes
for finding and eliminating waste and fraud. The practice of internal
auditing is not regulated, but The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) provides generally accepted standards.
auditors perform similar duties as
internal auditors, but are employed by an outside organization, rather
than the one they are auditing. They review clients’ financial statements
and inform investors and authorities that the statements have been
correctly prepared and reported.
technology auditors are
internal auditors who review controls for their organization’s computer
systems, to ensure that the financial data comes from a reliable source.
The primary certification in accounting is the Certified
Public Accounting (CPA) credential. Individuals with the CPA may gain
additional designations in financial forensics, management accounting (CGMA), business valuation, information technology,
and personal financial specialist.
There are other certifications including internal auditing (CIA),
fraud examination (CFE),
and management accounting (CMA).
See more information about the CPA exam on the GSU CPA exam resources page.
I am from Nigeria, and when I was considering schools in the U.S., I applied to GSU—the reception I received when I visited made me instantly realize it was the school for me. My professors make class fun and interesting, and they are always there for students if you need help understanding a difficult subject. Thanks to them, I’ve recently discovered my passion for auditing.
Dr. TJ Wang, Associate Professor of Accounting
I have always told my students, ‘You’ll never know until you take the first step.’ During my tenure at GSU, I have seen many first-generation students who have taken their first step towards getting a BSA and/or MSA and made a better life for themselves. ‘Anything is possible,’ I often say.